We have 6th, 7th, and 8th graders with iPads and email accounts. Do they email each other about things that have nothing to do with school? Absolutely.
They email about their clothes, the big game, their boyfriends/girlfriends, their hair, their zits, their mean parents, their awesome friends and everything else that middle school students all across the country are writing about on pieces of paper, in notebooks, in text messages and on social media sites. Our students just have a different tool to use. It is no different that kids passing notes between classes. It’s age-appropriate and expected. And if off-task email or passing paper notes is happening in class, then we need to monitor more closely and make our classes more engaging. If not, we can expect poor performance and bad behavior. They need a reason to be there.
the disclaimer-This is my opinion only and does not reflect opinions of my employer or my colleagues.